Luciano Ventrone’s Hyper-Realistic Exhibition

My art teachers constantly drum this into me: your painting must be more than the sum of the parts of what you paint. It can’t be just a photograph of what you see – it must capture your essence, your personality, your signature style, your imagination.

Is there a place in contemporary art today for painting realism then?

For Lucinao Ventrone, the answer is a resounding yes. Hailed as Italy’s finest hyper-realistic painter, Ventrone’s art does more than what a photograph can capture. While a shot through a camera lens is basically flattened into a two dimensional form, his oils transcend that into three dimensional still lives, nudes and landscapes that threaten to break free of their canvases.

He achieves this through a thoroughly labourious artistic process. First he spends countless hours meditating on the composition of his subject – then every individual fruit or flower is meticulously placed into its precise position in relation to its luscious neighbours.

When he does away with his Roman bowl or wood-strip woven baskets to contain them, he smashes his water melons and pomegranates onto the ground and lets the raggedly broken segments spontaneously settle into their final juxtapositions.

Or he will position his dainty female models so that every sinew and muscle demurely rippling the sublime lengths of their arched backs can be seen with his naked eye.

That is when he illuminates his composition with myriad points of warm light, further defining definitive features and adding shadowy depths to bring his models to larger than life. Even then, he does not necessarily hide imperfections: the slightly wilted petals of a bloom or two are lovingly captured, adding even greater realism.

Once he is finally satisfied, his wife and professional photographer, Miranda Gibilisco, takes over; precisely capturing the perfect image that Ventrone had initially conjured up in his mind’s eye.

These are then projected onto his large blank canvases, where the artist would lovingly detail their refined contours. And it is only after that that he finally gets to sit before his easel with his trusty palette – an equally laborious process as he often adds his finishing touches with a brush with only one fine hair – painstakingly capturing the subtle features and studied nuances offered by the delightful play of depth and light, just as he vividly remembers them.

Given this painstaking endeavour, Ventrone frequently takes a whole year to complete a painting to his artistic satisfaction. Even then, there has, on occasion, been artwork that has taken between three to ten years in the making.

The results speak for themselves: his first solo exhibition in Singapore opened with 40 percent of his master pieces already sold!

Catch this exhibition extraordinaire before it ends on 9 June at Partners & Mucciaccia, Blk 6 Lock Road, #02-10 Gillman Barracks,  Singapore 108934.

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